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Meeka uncovers shallow oxide gold at Turnberry

Updated: Apr 18

Caption: Meeka Metals drilling at its Murchison gold project. Credit: File

Meeka Metals has tabled a solid set of initial assays from shallow infill drilling at its Turnberry deposit that lies within its flagship Murchison gold project in Western Australia.

The drilling unearthed broad zones of oxide gold running up to an eye-catching 8.53 grams per tonne from the first 19 holes, with assays expected soon from the remaining 32 holes, which are largely located around the periphery of the designed open pits. Significant intercepts include 7m at 1.77g/t gold from 30m, with 1m at the stellar 8.53g/t gold and a hefty 35m at 1.49g/t gold from 30m, including 9m running at a healthy 3.34g/t.

Meeka says the results will be used in a grade-control model for the Turnberry open pits. A further 17 shallow drill holes were plugged at St Anne’s and assay results are expected next month.

The Murchinson project is a brownfield open-pit and underground gold mining play between the historic towns of Mount Magnet and Cue, 46km north-east of Meekatharra and 800km north-east of Perth. It lies within proximity to several multi-million-ounce gold mines and the current tenure comprises five exploration licences and two mining leases for a whopping total of 281 square kilometres.

The previous owner, Silver Lake Resources, started mining at Murchinson, followed by open-pit mining at the Andy Well deposit in September 2012. The first gold pour came in February 2013, but the project was placed on care and maintenance in September 2017.

Meeka cannily acquired Andy Well and the adjacent Gnaweeda gold project, which contains the Turnberry and St Anne’s deposits, from Silver Lake in February, 2021.

The company completed a feasibility study for the Murchinson gold project in July this year. It highlighted an average annual production of 663,000 ounces of gold for 9.3 years, with an estimated pre-production capital investment of $136 million ($92.6 million).

The July 2023 Murchison Feasibility Study highlighted that significant value can be added by infilling and extending Mineral Resources. These results infill areas with reduced drill density, confirming, and in some places expanding the broad zones of gold mineralisation in the Mineral Resource model. Once all results have been received, the open pit grade control model will be updated and is expected to further support the development ready status of the project in a period of strong gold price. Meeka Metals managing director Tim Davidson

The company’s 100 per cent-owned project is geologically located at the northern extent of the highly-prospective Mount Magnet and Youanmi shear zones. The Murchison goldfield is hosted in volcanic rocks which contain high-grade volcanogenic massive sulphides and gold mineralisation.

Fine-grained basalt rocks are found at the project site, with coarse-grained gold occurring in iron-rich sediments divided into footwall and hanging wall lodes. Higher grades occur in steeply-dipping shoots.

Meeka is now actively seeking to grow its mineral resources, while also progressing toward production. The company achieved exploration success last year with the definition of multiple new high-grade lodes at St Anne’s and high-grade extensions to Turnberry.

Turnberry features a current mineral resource estimate of 10.7 million tonnes at a solid average grade of 2g/t for a contained 685,000 ounces gold. It is centred about 4km north of St Anne’s, which has a current resource of 277,710 tonnes at 2.8g/t gold for a contained 25,000 ounces.

Their proximity and strike consistency parallel to the adjacent major shear suggest extension zones north and south of both the resource areas could be priority targets – and they might just have the legs to bolster the current resource areas.

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